Mumbai shuttler wins girls U-17 singles and U-17 doubles state titles in Ahmednagar despite injury
Taarini Suri with her singles, doubles trophies and the team championship runners-up trophy. Pic/Taarini's personal collection
It’s rightly said, no pain, no gain. That was so true for Greater Mumbai Badminton Association’s Taarini Suri, who managed to win two titles—girls U-17 and U-17 doubles—at the Shantikumarji Firodia Memorial Maharashtra State & Inter-District badminton tournament in Ahmednagar last week. The feat is commendable considering she had difficulty in movements due to an injury on her left shoulder.
In the girls U-17 final, top seed Taarini, 16, managed to register a 21-6, 21-17 win over Isha Patil. Meanwhile, top-seeded pair of Shravani Walekar and Taarini combined well to tame the second-seeded duo of Nishika Gokhe and Yutika Chavan 21-14, 21-10 for the doubles title. However, the Taarini-led Greater Mumbai U-17 team couldn't win the team championship as they lost to Nagpur 1-2.
The teen shutter said this win means she gets to play the 35th Sub Junior National Badminton Championships at the Jwala Gutta Academy, Hyderabad, from September 14 to 19. “I am really happy that I was able to clinch two titles and that too with a shoulder injury. Last year, I couldn’t play the Nationals as I did not have enough points. These wins have come at the right time and have inspired me to do well at the Nationals. My goal this year was to win a medal at the state [level] and I managed to do that in both singles and doubles. Plus, we [Shravani and I] are the top seeded pair in the country, so we have a realistic chance to be a part of the Indian team for the Badminton Asia Championships,” Taaraini, a Class XI student of Aditya Birla World Academy, told www.mid-day.com.
Talking about her shoulder injury, she said: “I picked up the injury when I was playing in Hyderabad three days before the state meet, which started on August 27. I played the state event after a go-ahead from the doctors. When I was moving, the body jerks gave me a lot of pain in my shoulder. But it is all worth the pain. I chose to play the state tournament as I had to reach the semi-finals in order to play the Nationals. My aim was to somehow reach the semi-finals. But once I reached the semi-finals, I chose to push myself a bit and go for the title. After the title, I am off from anything rigorous as I need to be fit for the Nationals,” said Taarini, who plans to play U-19 international ranking tournaments in Belgium, Croatia and Germany, after the Nationals.
The young shuttler, who trains under Hufrish Nariman, said though she is the top seed in doubles, she wants to focus on singles. “I was not able to achieve the singles rankings that I wanted to this year [enter Top 20], but I wish to continue playing singles along with doubles for a few more years. Also, Shravani and I don't train together. She trains in Bangalore, while I do it here in Mumbai. But next year onwards, we plan to train some days in Bangalore and sometimes in Mumbai. Also, we have been invited to train at the National Center of Excellence in Guwahati. We plan to go there once the doubles coaches arrive,” she remarked.